Guidelines Quiz – Management of Depression in Children And Young People

Dr Rob Hicks


March 05, 2019

If an antidepressant is to be prescribed for a child or young person with depression NICE states this should only be following assessment and diagnosis by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. When an antidepressant is prescribed to a child or young person with moderate to severe depression it should be fluoxetine, as this is the only antidepressant for which clinical trial evidence shows that the benefits outweigh the risks. If a positive response to treatment with fluoxetine occurs, it should be continued for at least 6 months after remission (no symptoms and full functioning for at least 8 weeks.)

Unsuccessful treatment with fluoxetine, or if fluoxetine is not tolerated because of side effects, use of another antidepressant should be considered. Sertraline or citalopram are the recommended second-line treatments, according to NICE, provided specific criteria are met. Paroxetine and venlafaxine should not be used for the treatment of depression in children and young people, and neither should tricyclic antidepressants.


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